Thursday, December 14, 2006

What shall we do?

As most of us know, Christmas is supposed to be the recognition of the birth of JESUS, who to Christians is our SAVIOR.  I have been studying the first portion of the book of Acts.  For the next couple of posts I am going to quote from some of the material from Acts.  I think it is appropriate given that this is the time of the year that we consider the human birth of the CREATOR and the SAVIOR of the world.

“’Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.  This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.’”  Acts 2: 22-24 (NIV)

“’Seeing what was ahead, he (the patriarch David) spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.  God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.  Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  Acts 2: 31-33 (NIV)

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?’

Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’  Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day”  Acts 2: 37-41 (NIV)

When the crowd asked Peter “What shall we do?”  What was Peter’s reply?  “Repent and be baptized.”  When non-believers ask a Christian, “What must I do?”  The answer is the same today.  “Repent and be baptized.”  That is not the whole answer but it is part of the whole answer.  The whole answer is to hear (which they did), believe (which some did or they would not have asked “what shall we do?”), confess that JESUS is LORD and SAVIOR (which is natural if you believe), then as Peter said “Repent and be baptized”, and finally once baptized to live as an obedient servant to the one and only true GOD—the CREATOR and the only SAVIOR of man through JESUS the CHRIST, HIS SON.        



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